Mandhana’s century helped India score 265 runs for eight wickets

The Uncut

Bangalore. Opener Smriti Mandhana’s sixth century helped India post a challenging 265 for eight against South Africa in the first ODI of the three-match series here on Sunday. The Indian team was in trouble after losing five wickets for 99 runs, but Mandhana put the team in a strong position by scoring 117 runs in 127 balls. Apart from hitting 12 fours and a six in her innings, she took the team out of a difficult situation with half-century partnerships of 81 runs in 92 balls for the sixth wicket with Deepti Sharma (37) and 58 runs in 54 balls for the seventh wicket with Pooja Vastrakar (31 not out).

Deepti hit three fours in her 48-ball innings. Pooja also hit three fours in her unbeaten innings of 42 balls. For South Africa, Ayabong Khaka took three wickets for 47 runs while Masabata Klaas took two wickets for 51 runs. Anri Dirksen, Nonkululeko Mlaba and Nondumiso Shangase got one wicket each. To adjust to the slow pitch of Chinnaswamy Stadium, Mandhana gave up her aggressive game and batted sensibly. Indian top order batsmen Shefali Verma (seven), captain Harmanpreet Kaur (10) and Jemima Rodrigues (17) lost their wickets easily.

Mandhana held one end. India had lost its fifth wicket in the form of Richa Ghosh (three). Left-handed batsman Mandhana showed wisdom and focused on stealing runs without taking risks and completed her fifty in 61 balls by taking three runs off Shangase’s ball in the 23rd over. Mandhana got good support from Deepti from the other end. Deepti hit all three fours of her innings off Shangase’s ball. However, she played on her wickets on Khakha’s ball outside the off stump.

Mandhana then hit a brilliant six against fast bowler Klas and reached the score of 99 runs. She completed her century in 116 balls by running a run on the next ball. After completing the century, she increased the run rate by hitting two fours against Khakha. From the other end, Pooja hit two fours in two overs of Dirksen. Meanwhile, Mandhana got caught by Sune Luus while trying to play a big shot against Klas. Shobhana Asha (8 not out) took the team past 260 runs with a four in the last over.

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